EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE
Information from the EPO
Decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 9 December 2021 on the filing of sequence listings
The President of the European Patent Office (EPO), having regard to Article 10(2) EPC, Rules 2, 30(1), 68(2), 73(2) and 163(3) EPC and Rule 13ter PCT, has decided as follows:
Filing of sequence listings in respect of European patent applications
(1) If nucleotide or amino acid sequences are disclosed in a European patent application, the description must contain a sequence listing in XML format complying with WIPO Standard ST.26.
(2) A sequence listing filed on the date of filing of the European patent application will be published with the application documents (Rule 68(1) EPC) and the patent specification (Rule 73 EPC) as part of the description.
(3) Sequence listings may only be filed via the EPO's Online Filing and Online Filing 2.0 services or on an admissible electronic data carrier.1
(4) If a sequence listing is also filed in another format accepted for the filing of documents, only the sequence listing complying with WIPO Standard ST.26 will be taken into account when searching the application.
(5) Following any revision of WIPO Standard ST.26, the President will decide on a date from which the revised version of the standard will apply to applications and will publish that information in the Official Journal together with any transitional provisions concerning the furnishing on or after that date of sequence listings related to applications filed prior to that date.
Subsequent filing of sequence listings
(1) Where the applicant does not file a WIPO Standard ST.26-compliant sequence listing on the date of filing of the European patent application, the EPO will invite it to file such a sequence listing and to pay the late furnishing fee within a non-extendable period of two months from the invitation (Rule 30(3) EPC).
(2) A sequence listing filed after the date of filing of the European patent application must be accompanied by a statement to the effect that it does not include matter which goes beyond the content of the application as filed.
(3) Articles 1(3) and 1(5) of the present decision apply to subsequently filed sequence listings.
Unreadable, incomplete or infected files
(1) If a file containing a sequence listing is unreadable or incomplete, the unreadable or incomplete part will be deemed not to have been filed.
(2) If a file containing a sequence listing is infected with a computer virus or contains other harmful software, the file will be deemed to be unreadable. The EPO is not obliged to open or process such files.
(3) If a file containing a sequence listing is defective within the meaning of paragraphs (1) or (2) at the time of filing, the applicant will be informed without delay. Article 2 of the present decision applies mutatis mutandis.
Furnishing of sequence listings to the EPO acting as international authority under the PCT
If nucleotide or amino acid sequences are disclosed in an international patent application but a WIPO Standard ST.26-compliant sequence listing is not available to the EPO as International Searching Authority, Supplementary International Searching Authority or International Preliminary Examining Authority, the applicant will be invited to furnish such a listing under Rule 13ter.1(a) PCT and to pay the late furnishing fee under Rule 13ter.1(c) PCT within a non-extendable period of one month from the date of the invitation.
Filing sequence listings with the EPO as designated or elected Office
On invitation to file a WIPO Standard ST.26-compliant sequence listing under Rule 163(3) EPC, Articles 1(3), 1(4), 1(5), 2 and 3 of the present decision will apply mutatis mutandis.
Entry into force
(1) This decision enters into force on 1 July 2022 and applies to all European patent applications and international patent applications filed on or after that date.
(2) As of 1 July 2022, the decision of the President of the EPO dated 28 April 2011 on the filing of sequence listings (OJ EPO 2011, 372) will only apply to European and international patent applications with a date of filing prior to 1 July 2022.
Done at Munich, 9 December 2021
1 See Article 1 of the decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 14 May 2021 concerning the electronic filing of documents (OJ EPO 2021, A42).